February 07, 2008
February 1: I email Barack Obama's Colorado campaign site, asking for information on which caucus I should attend. Although I write a syndicated column that often deals with presidential politics, I’ve never been to a caucus, or for that matter participated in a political campaign. And my lifetime financial contributions to politicians consist of writing a $50 check to John Kerry in the summer of 2004. But I’ve taken a liking to Obama, and have decided I should overcome my natural inertia and at least go to the caucus.
Anyone who has been watching or reading coverage of the Super Tuesday results has heard about Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton's success with Latino voters. In California, the day’s biggest prize, Clinton beat Barack Obama by a margin of 67 percent to 32 percent. While her edge was smaller in other states, including New Mexico and Arizona, Clinton's achievement with Latinos helped offset Obama's overwhelming win with African Americans and his gains among white voters, particularly men, since South Carolina.
Missing Mitt Romney
Mitt Romney's decision to withdraw from the Republican presidential campaign will surely please a lot of people -- starting with his rivals, both present and former. It was no secret that Romney was widely reviled among the candidates. Romney's willingness to transform his entire political persona, from the moderate technocrat who governed in Massachusetts to the conservative crusader who tried -- without enough success -- to win over the Republican base, really was breathtaking, even by the standards of politicians. That, combined with his willingness to spend untold sums of his personal w
More On The Clintons' Piggy Bank
Just to pick up where Mike left off, the prospect of the Clintons self-funding part of Hillary's campaign really does raise a lot of questions, some of them uncomfortable. For example, according to this Washington Post story from last year, Bill frequently commands between $200,000 and $300,000 per speech (with foreign clients usually paying the highest prices).
February 06, 2008
As John McCain consolidates his Super Tuesday wins to nail down the nomination, he can thank his big-name endorsers over the past week: Rudy Giuliani. Arnold Schwarzenegger. Texas Governor Rick Perry. Steve Forbes. And then he can give Florida Governor Charlie Crist a lifetime, unlimited mileage pass on the Straight Talk Express, or maybe even a copy of that prized donor list that he had to use as collateral last year to keep his campaign afloat. It's strange how quickly Crist's last minute endorsement has faded into history.
Growing Up Is Hard To Do
SANTIAGO, Chile--It might be argued that a country ceases to be underdeveloped when its citizens shift their anger from other people's wealth to the quality of the services their own wealth is paying for. Chile is perhaps the world's best example.
What's Your Problem?
Is punditry a worthwhile endeavor? Peter Beinart is editor-at-large at The New Republic, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, and the author of The Good Fight (HarperCollins). Jonah Goldberg is editor-at-large of National Review Online and a contributing editor to National Review. By Peter Beinart & Jonah Goldberg
State of Play
WASHINGTON--The Super Tuesday primaries were a test of strength that demonstrated weaknesses in both parties and pointed to problems each could confront in the fall.John McCain is now the clear Republican front-runner, but he leads a party torn by ideology and has survived only because his conservative opponents have fractured their movement.Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama fought to a near draw in a series of Democratic primaries that revealed a sharp gender gap, a generation gap at least as deep as the age divide that was so widely advertised in the 1960s, and differences across lines of eth
February 05, 2008
The Preacher vs. The Campaigner
WILMINGTON, Del.--Democrats are divided this year not by the issues but by a feeling and a theory. This helps explain why the preferences of voters in the Democratic presidential primaries so far have gyrated so wildly. In the absence of deep divisions on policy, Democrats have been cut loose from their ideological moorings.
Setting up their February 5 caucus, Montana Republicans took one look at Wyoming’s closed, convoluted (pro-Romney) caucus system--which provides little opportunity for public participation--and decided it was too democratic. As Montana GOP director Chris Wilcox explained to me, the party streamlined the system so only precinct representatives and elected or appointed officials can caucus (thus eliminating the unwieldy process of voter involvement). If this libertarian state ran an open primary, McCain might have a chance.